Accessibility in gaming is an issue that is finally getting the attention it deserves in recent years with more and more developers, publishers, and hardware creators finally investing in making games more available for those with disabilities. This positive movement is evident when one legally blind Pokemon fan took to Reddit to thank Nintendo for her experience with Pokemon: Let's Go.
I'm almost completely blind, but I've been a Pokemon fan since the 90s. I've always felt left out because I could never play the handheld Pokemon games..until now. Thank you, Nintendo. It's not perfect in terms of accessibility, but it's enough for me. from r/gaming
The Reddit user also took the time to explain what this experience means to her in the comment section. Many brought up emulators on PC, especially for the older games, but for a player that is legally blind - the small font and pixelated sprites were not the ideal at the time. With Pokemon: Let's Go's simplified graphics, smoothed edges, and easy-to-read font, it's perfect for those with limited visibility.
According to Finland government, 'GrumpyFinn' only has 2% normal vision, and is currently under a 90% disability label. For every day life, that's an incredible hurdle, and in the scope of gaming - equally so.
When one reader mentioned that he heard another blind player say he used the in-game sounds and "thuds" to move around, she replied "I tried that as a kid but it just never worked for me. I had an assistant in third grade who had a Gameboy and Pokemon Blue and let me borrow it for a weekend. I realized pretty quickly that I couldn't see anything, so I tried to listen but I just ended up getting frustrated.
Though she did mention it's not "perfect" and the throwing mechanic does make the title an issue for other types of disabilities, for one fan - this experience means the world. Simple changes like different controller options and subtitles can mean the world of a difference, but as 'GrumpFinn' mentioned, "it's enough for me."
Pokemon: Let's Go is available now on Nintendo Switch.